Forget your bento box? And now you have to pick up your kids and whisk them to whatever sport/art/science thing they're into right now. While we'd love to say this has never happened to any of us, we can't.
There comes a time in every one of our lives that forces us to eat out. And we don't mean at our favorite local restaurant where we know the chef makes a killer lentil burger with hand-cut potato wedges. Sometimes. we have to eat fast. If you're lucky, you have time to run into a grocery store to grab an apple, veggies sticks, and hummus. But what if you can't do that? What if the only place between where you are and where you have to be in twenty minutes is FAST FOOD.
Fast food (better known as food stuff of which the origin is entirely unknown and most likely of poorer quality than your dog's food) is dangerous. It's not only poor nutrition, it has dire consequences on the body (mood issues, high cholesterol, guilt).
But just because you have to eat and run doesn't mean you have to choose the worst thing possible. Plenty of healthy, low-sodium, low saturated fat options are on the market. You just have to be smart and diligent with your orders. Here are the best fast food options for when you can't get home:
Panda Express is a healthy diet nightmare with most foods high in sodium, sugar, and saturated fat. The first rule for eating at Panda Express is to swap the rice/noodles for steamed veggies and then choose a wok smart protein or the grilled chicken breast.
Your best option is a Panda Bowl with steamed vegetable and teriyaki chicken without the sauce. This adds up to about 400 calories with over 35 grams of fat.
Burritos are really delicious, but at Chipotle, it can cost you at least 800-1200 calories! WTF? So don't go doing that unless you haven't eaten anything and plan to not eat anything else for the day.
Instead, you should order the Chicken Burrito Bowl without cheese or sour cream. Ask for brown rice (optional) and pinto beans. You can load up on grilled veggies, lettuce, and two salsas.. This will run you about 600 calories with 45 grams of protein, 4 grams saturated fat, and 1300 mg of sodium. If you don't get the rice, then it drops it down to 400 calories and 41 grams protein.
For vegetarians, don't get the meat, get the sofritas. Without the rice, this is around 360 calories with 17 grams protein and 1400 mg sodium.
A subway sandwich or salad is a great option for when you are on the road. A 6-inch turkey sandwich without cheese and on whole-grain bread is around 300 calories. Top it with mustard, spinach, onions, tomatoes, pickles, bell peppers, and cucumbers.
Nearly 75% of Taco Bell's menu falls under 500 calories. When ordering, ask for it to be fresco style so they do not add dairy to the item. You can get two chicken soft tacos for under 500 calories. A bean burrito, no dairy, but add green sauce is a great option.